After years of rumors, Yahoo has finally decided to close Geocities sometime this year.
I can’t say I’ll miss GeoCities itself — but there are still a lot of sites connected to comics fandom hosted there. Some are kept current, some are old but still contain useful information, and some are snapshots of an earlier era of online fandom
It was a time before MySpace and Twitter and Facebook. Before Google and Wikipedia. Before “weblog” was shortened to “blog,” back when discussions took place not on forums but on IRC, newsgroups and mailing lists, and even having an email address meant you were kind of weird. Everyone with a website belonged to 2 or 3 webrings, fan sites handed out awards to each other regularly, and Jonah Weiland’s name always appeared in front of “Comic Book Resources.” It was still worth asking your local store for a copy of Comic Shop News, because it wasn’t just a digest of last month’s Newsarama articles.
At the time I started Flash: Those Who Ride the Lightning (on a server provided by my college) in the mid-1990s, a lot of comics fan sites were on Geocities, including several that I helped out with. The first profiles I made of Flash villains were written for the long-gone Scarlet Speedster website, and I remember contributing bios to an Impulse site at one point as well.
Of course fan sites appear and disappear all the time. I watched a lot of fan sites die out during the late 1990s as people graduated from schools, started jobs, went into the military or just stopped posting. As various Flash sites fell by the wayside, I expanded the scope on my own site to fill the gaps they left. (Evidently I had too much time on my hands.) After a while it was kind of a last-site-standing situation, until Dixon relaunched Crimson Lightning (originally a review site) as a blog a few years ago. It’s nice to see a resurgence of Flash fan sites lately.
As for the sites still on Geocities today: some, especially the ones that are still active, will no doubt move over the next few months. Others will simply vanish, taking with them a piece of fandom history.